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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: MAYhem2048

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CorSair said:

How about making every second DWMWC have old stuff and then the other newer stuff?

The club was originally supposed to function this way, but we've been caught up in a lot of new releases after Epic 2.

plums said:

Anyhow is there actually anyone besides Demon of the Well and myself who is interested in having Psyren for the DWMC?

I haven't touched Psyren's stuff but I'll definitely play it. So far we've got like 3-4 votes for Stomper so that's likely to be our top pick, but since it's only 19 maps we could squeeze in a Psyren set like Crimson Canyon if you wanted.

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Well Rylayeh is the best of the three, so I'd recommend that personally if we were to choose one.

Actually, how long is September's mapset?

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Well that's maybe a bit too long to try to cram another 10 maps in as well. But anyhow, if we were to do Psyren's wads on piece at a time (and there are really only two pieces worth playing if done that way) that would quite all right with me.

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Oh, I thought Stomper was longer than that for some reason. Thought it was 32 maps (well, 31 without Xaser's).

Yeah, I'm fine with doing Stomper alongside something else (for example, a Psyren set), then. We could even do one this month and one next month--I'm sure BTSX E2 has at least a few short-ish maps, and the last two maps of Crimson Canyon aren't actually part of Crimson Canyon, they're just little bonus doodads (one of them appears in one of the old 1024 megaWADs, IIRC--maybe both).

Incidentally, if we're ever going to do Eternal Doom or something equally niche like one of the Slaughterfest WADs, this would probably be the way to go about them--break them up into smaller chunks over a span of time to fill out odd months. Less exhausting/less exclusive for the disaffected, that way.

Edit: According to the Stomper thread it is supposed to be a full megaWAD, so I'm sticking with my original vote on that front. If Stomper is what's picked by others I'll still participate though, of course.

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Demon of the Well said:

We could even do one this month and one next month

That's kind of what I was thinking, but it sounded like BTSX E2 might be long enough to occupy a whole month. Either way, I like the sound of Stomper + Rylayeh or Crimson Canyon. Any thoughts as to which one, DotW?

edit: OK yeah, Stomper does say 32 (or at least 30) maps right now. Not sure where you got that it was 20, dobu.

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Demon of the Well said:

Oh, I thought Stomper was longer than that for some reason. Thought it was 32 maps (well, 31 without Xaser's).

Aw shit you're right, I was thinking of another wad :/

This actually complicates things a bit more, as there's like 3-4 votes for Stomper (Memfis, Marcaek, Seele & alterworldruler if you include him) but considering me, you, plums and Phobus that's about 4 for Psyren's maps. Maybe since Stomper is sitting on a deadline we could go with that, and get around to Psyren come October?

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MAP27: Balls on Fire by Corsair
0% kills, no secrets

A big open square with some structures and 2048 monsters, this map may seem daunting, but it's actually fairly easy to beat without firing a single shot. Gather the blue key, gather the yellow key, run through the exit... pretty simple. After messing with the switch right in front of me and the three hell knights guarding it, I figured out the best course of action was to ignore the switch and just loop around the top. Found the blue key pretty quickly, though the yellow key led me to make a few loops before I figured it was probably in a similar location. After grabbing both keys, I hoofed it to the exit, ate a couple fireballs while waiting for fatty to move out of the way but nothing too bad. I think 12 monsters of the 2048 had slain themselves, still shows as 0% by Doom's count.

It actually doesn't look too bad despite the custom textures and the "in a giant box" nature, but I admit I didn't take too much time to really sit and dissect the surroundings. A large chunk of those 2048 monsters must teleport in somehow, I certainly didn't stick around long enough to see them. Reading some of the other reviews, there's crushers and stuff? Eh, I couldn't really be assed to try.

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dobu gabu maru said:

Maybe since Stomper is sitting on a deadline we could go with that, and get around to Psyren come October?

Sounds good to me.

Processingcontrol said:

What about Doom II in name only?

We... just did that?
Derp, just woke up, sorry.

D2INO is cool, I really liked it and suggested it last month. However it seemed like (a) a lot of people who were willing to try it for the DWMC have already played it, and (b) many people had concerns about too many of the levels being huge, somewhat justifiably. This causes problems for a monthly wad, and also will turn off some people. I highly recommend everyone play D2INO but after the discussion here and in the D2INO thread, I'm not convinced it's the best choice for DWMC.

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Nah, we just did Doom 2 The Way Id Did. D2INO is a project keeping the original level names and fashioning new levels for them. It's still vanilla-compatible, though.

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Back to this month...

MAP25: A chaotic map by Steve "What's infinite height?" Duff. I like Steve and I like his maps, but considering the number of levels he's made recently that are ostensibly port-neutral, it's funny how often he uses flying monsters with no regard to ports that don't let you walk under them.

And there sure are a lot of them here! I had an idea of what I was getting into thanks to reading the comments beforehand, and was fully prepared to lame it out in GLBoom+. And lame it out I did. I started by just waking everything up and then retreating to the safety of the bars in the start, and repeated this mild journey a few times until it was all clear, cyberdemons excluded. Then I woke up the arch-vile, and did it again! Then came time to wake up the cacos, and hide in the closet where the AV was, getting the cybers to pick many of them off while I plasma rifled any that came my way.

If that makes it sound simple, rest assured, I died many many times getting through this, and saved and reloaded quite a bit.

It felt like a hollow win still, so I went back and played in in GZDoom, on HMP, with freelook and of course things over things. This was much more manageable; in fact, I'd say the start was harder than the swarm of cacodemons. Still died a few times but managed to beat it without saves eventually.

The cyber at the end was kind of unnecessary, as people have said. You could replace him, or offer a BFG in the exit room, to change things up a lot for speedrunning and people that want to risk going for it early.

Anyhow, between the tomato horde, the orange sky, the mod music, and the random hitscanners with minimal cover, this truly felt like a SteveD map.

(Speaking of which Steve, I don't know if you checked out this thing that I did recently, but there's a 512px wide version of the E4 sky in there. Interested to know what you think!)


MAP18, again: while in GZDoom I decided to revisit Black and Blue, on HMP with mouselook as well. Definitely less antagonistic, but only somewhat, and I find the music and the blue checkered texture are just as ugly as the first time, so I'm still not a fan. Going back to it though I do appreciate the layout intertwining a lot more, even if I don't like the gameplay at all. Also FWIW I had no trouble identifying that lift as a lift.

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Or we could ultimately do something more reasonable, why not have both Stomper and Psyren stuff in September? Sure Stomper may get a bit less feedback, but ultimately people will be mostly satisfied. So we'll have an interesting contrast, a modern boom wad and some classic stuff. Because at this rate, looks like it'll be a tie between Stomper and Psyren.

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Nothing unreasonable about prioritizing a wad that needs some feedback. I'm quite happy to do Stomper now, especially if my longstanding choice of Psyren's maps gets locked in for the near-future.

Two full megawads (or one megawad and 30-odd maps in three wads) is kind of a lot to do at once, especially as the end of the month tends to see a lot of people peter out - and the later maps are probably where you need feedback more, I would guess.

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Map 28 -- Cold Seep - 117% Kills / 100% Secrets
I quite like this map--aesthetically, the gameplay, even the music. It's also the final map from the set that I had played previously; I made a trollish, largely pacifistic FDA where I first completed the red key path and could've gone to the endgame, but instead chose to explore and was stupidly killed in the first part of the blue key path--the notion that a map this small has a ton of optional content is quite intriguing and quite impressive, I think. Near as I can tell, you only need one key to exit, meaning that if you've sampled some of the battles and found them not to your liking, you can do the part you find easiest to swallow and then move on with your life (or death as the case may be, as on UV skill at least there's one stage of the end fight that's pretty fucking nasty). Wringing this much gameplay out of such a small space requires either that the space be constantly reused (ala map 12 or map 22, for example), or that it be divided into lots of tiny little sections that constitute a chain of micro-concepts. Generally I'm pretty skeptical of the prospects of the latter alternative (and we've seen some of its pitfalls in some of this set's weaker maps), but having played most of Dobu Gabu Maru's other maps, it doesn't really surprise me that he was able to pull it off. He's certainly used large or even huge open spaces in his maps before, but generally he uses them primarily for visual flair and atmosphere (those of us who've played NOVA will surely remember 'Iron Exuviae', for example)--when it's time for the real action to begin, he almost always prefers to put the player under some kind of significant space restriction, and so it seems that cramming heated battles into tight areas just comes naturally to him.

Dobu said earlier that his main inspirations when he began mapping were PCorf and Phml, IIRC. Well, I can perhaps see certain aesthetic influences from those two (particularly Phml, who uses darkness/black space as an aesthetic tool in a similar way), but in terms of gameplay I see very, very little of either of them here--this is more a deadly monster-based puzzle ala Ribbiks or Rich Wiles' nastier maps or the like. Getting a foothold at the outset is a task in itself, with a cyberdemon dominating the halls early on (hint: there's a reason I got as far as I did in my silly pacifistic FDA ;) ), and from there you can pick your poison when you find you need a key (although on a blind run it's more likely you'll stumble onto a key route than actively choose it, I suppose). Each path has its own character and points of interest: the red key path is essentially a heavily contrived but nevertheless rather effective close-range showdown with a spiderdemon and some decidedly rude spectators; the yellow key path is an extremely claustrophobic series of point-blank slobberknockers in some strange watery demiplane, and the blue key path has you facing a series of more standard encounters while rattling around behind the walls, under the floorboards, and other 'spaces betwixt.' Of these, I'd say the blue path is probably easiest apart from one nasty little boobytrap at the start, and the yellow path is definitely the hardest.

I quite like both the red and blue paths. The red's a rare and much welcome example of a well-used spiderdemon, and while the blue is the most straightforward in the combat department, it's interesting just for where/how in the play space it manages to take place--you can tell it was probably the path Dobu made last, and so it's essentially squeezed in there in a very catch-as-catch-can sort of way, which I find charming for some reason. I can see the appeal of the yellow path, but I still maintain my opinion that it hammers its concept a little too far into the ground, especially considering the final battle uses a somewhat similar concept--probably could've done with being just the first chamber, then either the third or fourth, and then the end. I didn't dislike it enough to skip it or anything, mind you, as my kill score shows.

Okay, and I also wanted all three keys for......certain reasons.

The last battle's pretty damned nasty, and the third stage of it did me in handily the first time I encountered it back on that old version--that last arch-vile is really difficult to deal with without either the instant cooperation of other monsters (read: without dumb luck) or.....that thing which made me want all three keys. Suffice to say I reckon it's probably this last chunk of the map that prompted Dobu to suggest people try the map on HMP first (not that I ever listen when people tell me that, of course, nothing I like more than a majestic death).

Anyway, it's a map that appeals to me in a lot of ways--engrossing atmosphere developed through thematic choices and an eye towards using visuals outside of the play area to establish some depth (I haven't talked more about aesthetics because this post is already getting even more long-winded than usual), tight/tricky combat (I usually prefer to have some space to tear ass around in, but Dobu does claustrophobia well), and perhaps my favorite thing about this author's mapping--that little aspect of intrigue, the extra out-of-the-way stuff that you know is there somewhere, but also know you'll have to work to find.


Minor bug: One of the trigger mechanisms that's supposed to set the collapsing section of the upper floor which reveals the room down below with the green torch taking a shower (...?) back into place can be defeated with enough speed (e.g. you flip the switch and then run out of the dirt corridor fast enough that you pass the trigger before the sectors finish moving). This doesn't disastrously break the map or harm progression or anything, but if you ride the lift back up to the main floor you can look down into the open section and see some pretty gross tiling on that part of the mural texture (which you can also see a bit of from down below, granted). A really clever player could use the gap in the floor to mightily cheese the revenant assault at the end of the yellow path, I suppose. Incidentally, the part of the upstairs mural (with the heirophant's right arm) involved here has a flicker effect on it for some reason--I assume it's a visual detail intended to be seen when looking into the torch room from the dirt corridor below, but it's a pretty significant red herring for secret-hunters and doesn't seem like it's supposed to clue you in on the room below, since accessing that room has nothing to do with being in the room with the mural. Even more incidentally, the silent teleporter that leads into the first tiny chamber on the yellow path should probably be once-only, I reckon--there's little if anything to pick up in there other than what you unavoidably get the first time around, and it's obnoxious to accidentally back into it while fighting the aforementioned revenants.

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plums said:

Nothing unreasonable about prioritizing a wad that needs some feedback. I'm quite happy to do Stomper now, especially if my longstanding choice of Psyren's maps gets locked in for the near-future.

Two full megawads (or one megawad and 30-odd maps in three wads) is kind of a lot to do at once, especially as the end of the month tends to see a lot of people peter out - and the later maps are probably where you need feedback more, I would guess.

You are right, with Stomper, I am primarly concerned about the gameplay balance in later maps starting Map21, aka the E4 according to DEHACKED of Stomper, because the wad becomes much harder especially from pistol start, though i've done those maps from pistol starts on UV. Also visuals.

In general, the thing is, Xaser's map will take a bit to complete, that's why I am opting for a late october deadline, because Xaser's map may suddenly outdo all other maps in quality, and which is why I need feedback to improve the quality, so Xaser's map will not stick out like a boat in a sea when it comes to overall quality of Stomper. The goal is, to even the field out.

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If BTSX E2 is scheduled for September, then I'm definitely your man on that month. It's about damn time.

Map28 - “Cold Seep” by dobu gabu maru
As we all know, in the end Ribbiks broke the tradition and didn't contribute to this project. But fear not, my masochistic brethren, for dobu gabu maru steps forward to become Ribbiks #2 and Mr. Big Dick of this mapset. This map is tough. In fact, without foreknowledge it's a dick move after dick move after dick move, beating you mercilessly and relentlessly from the very beginning to the very end. You need only one key to exit (I advise the blue one since it's the easiest one to obtain), but there's also the secret bfg that requires all three. And it's worth it - believe me, final encounter without it is an odyssey of frustration. I actually like the idea, either get out of the main zone quickly and suffer through the ending, or conquer each key area and make your life much easier later on. A fair trade.
Now, regarding the visuals - they're stunning. This map is another one that uses the space given efficiently, creating pretty long and twisted level, with lots of height variation, walkways and passages. Texture usage is very strong and consistent. This map simply looks beautiful, with rich backgrounds to contribute to it as well. And while the gameplay is notably beyond my level of enjoyment (though it's still quite interesting tough nut to crack) - aesthetically it's a blast, and overall this map was interesting to both explore, conquer... and just behold in awe. One of the best maps here. Well played, dobu, well played. I actually think that my map you're going to play next is pretty pale in comparison. Easier, too, heh.

And bonus points for addictive music.

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Demonologist said:

And while the gameplay is notably beyond my level of enjoyment (though it's still quite interesting tough nut to crack)


This was worth waiting for. The author of Ex Tenebris saying that someone else's map was pitched beyond their level of enjoyment. Classic! ;) BTW, I still haven't mustered the courage to play Ex Tenebris, but it will happen. I'll PM you with the results.

Now that 2 reviews are in, I can say that Dobu's Cold Seep is the map that killed me 69 times and shut me down for a DNF at the end, as I could see no way of surviving long enough to beat it, unless maybe I accepted a death count of well over 100.

But with a nod to Magnus, who noted my tendency to masochism, it has to be said -- I was having a total blast getting my shit stomped from one end of this map to another! Up, down, right, left -- wherever I went, whatever I did, I ended up needing paramedics.

Keep in mind that I knew I should not have played this map on UV. I probably should never pistol-start a Dobu map on UV the first go-through, but I use ZDL to launch Doom and I had left the difficulty at Hard in my usual spaced-out kinda way, and when I realized my mistake, I decided to give it a whirl anyway. The good news for me is that I managed to stubborn my way to the end and was on the verge of dying my way to victory, but then I saw what awaited me and said, "Uh-oh."

There's too much sunlight here for me to play this now, so I'll be giving this bad-boy a shot on HMP later today. If that fails, there's always HNTR or even ITYTD. I will get through this puppy one way or another. ;)

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Since I'm a bit late to the party at this point (largely due to playing a tonne of Wildstar), I think I'll wait until the "final idgames with all the mappers adjustments version" of Mayhem 2048 comes out before playing it now.

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Map28 - “Cold Seep” by dobu gabu maru

With the amount of claustrophobic and highly orchestrated encounters I thought I was playing a ribbiks map, but then I've played a few other dobu creations and know how he loves being a total bastard. The wealth of options given to you at the start is somewhat tempered by the fact that they are all really dangerous. The layout is very clever, not enough room to fight, but just enough to keep running away. I chose to try and get the cyber to kill as much stuff as possible, which is fun but ultimately involves a lot of saving/reloading as catching one rocket is certain death. I think that would be my only criticism, and in the end it might just be that I don't enjoy that style of gameplay, but I like to be able to make mistakes and adapt to situations, whereas a lot of these fights give so little margin for error. When maps are constantly presenting me with puzzle-type fight scenarios it takes me away from what I enjoy about doom, which is the sense of immersion and chaos. I'm also really not keen on dealing with a lot of heavy hitters in confined spaces, but I have to say this map does what it does really well and looks amazing. Some parts felt like I was being asked to do too much with too little health, even with megaspheres being thrown around, and by the end I was in a situation where I had 2 cybers to kill and only 25 health. And then an archvile appeared after killing one of them. Tough stuff. Maybe I would enjoy it more on a lower difficulty setting...

I was a bit confused by being able to open the 3 key door even though i didn't have the blue key. After reading demonologist's post I see that I only needed one key, oh well. Guess there's no way to mark a door to indicate that fact.

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SteveD said:

BTW, I still haven't mustered the courage to play Ex Tenebris, but it will happen. I'll PM you with the results.

I'll be waiting impatiently, Steve. No, seriously, I'm always interested in constructive feedback, especially from awesome guys who stood at the beginning of Doom mapping era when I was marching under my desk. A little piece of advice - at least play on ITYTD, I don't want you to get hurt or smash your monitor. I'd even go as far as officially refraining from putting Steve Duff's pelts on display above my fireplace for the sake of Steve Duff's good condition.

For what it's worth - ET offers much more space, as opposed to Cold Seep's cramped combat. I'm not a big fan of this approach, after all, I like my personal space being wide enough. If you wanna see me doing cramped combat though - tomorrow's map is right here, waiting for you.

And while I'm at it...

Map29 - “Imago Mortis”
Just some trivia for those interested:
- I've had the idea for a map like that for some time, but was never really sure about how it'd look like and where I'd put it. When Mayhem2048 emerged - I eventually realised that'd be a good opportunity to actually make this thing, retres made me scratch my head for some time, but in the end it turned out to be like something you see here;
- I admit that gameplay is something that was born after playing too many Ribbiks' maps in a short period of time;
- effective usage of space or sheer creativity? No, this map is far from it. However, it partly compensates with dense population, reusage of areas and the necessity to backtrack more than once (cheap trick, I know);
- last but not least - there are no difficulty settings. Just because.


Well, Getsu Fune, it's a nice opportunity for you to tell me just how much I suck at mapping! Seriously though, I repeat that I didn't want to insult anyone directly, but I was still probably too harsh and delivered my message a bit too efficiently, and for that I apologize, even if it's a bit late. Forgive me if you can. Next time I'll behave.

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MAP27, "Balls on Fire" by Corsair. Played in prBoom+.

I didn't like this map. It was very gimmicky, and as is often the case, the gimmick got in the way of actual playability. It wasn't so much the gallery full of monsters that bothered me, but the fact that several times, I was forced to keep (mostly) still and let them take potshots at me, such as with the lift just before the yellow key. I always maintained that forcing the player to take unavoidable damage is one of the worst design sins a mapper can commit. There isn't much else to say here, the map is incredibly short and kind of haphazardly textured, with a mix of base and medieval/Heretic textures and a definite focus on whites and light greys, giving it a really bland and washed-out feel.

I actually wanted to move right on to Map 28, but after this, I'll need a bit of downtime before I can play Doom again, my nerves are so frazzled.

EDIT: By the way, I'd love to have Hell Revealed for next month's DWMWCP, as it's the only "classic" megawad I've never actually played and from the sound of it, it would be right up my alley.

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MAP28:
Now, I remember absolutely hating this map in play testing. These cramped, high-pressure "puzzle fights" are easily my least favourite approaches to gameplay, especially when you're not even particularly well-armed. Good news is, this time I'm not pistol-starting and have 29-maps-worth of firepower and supplies to keep me happy. So I 2-shot the Cyberdemon, get another couple of space-clearing shots off and then get to work on exploring this beauty of a map. Red key is easy enough to find and I was fine getting through that challenge. Yellow key felt drawn-out and a bit too tight, considering that the SSG is the obvious gun for the space, but not the enemies. I made it through with the help of my BFG on the last room and was suitably impressed by how that effect was done (particularly how you fit it in around the rest of the map), but didn't really enjoy the experience. Blue key was terribly unintuitive to find (you can tell we're using Eternal Doom textures when a switch is hidden in plain sight...) but actually relatively easy to get and secure. So, I've found all three keys... But have no idea how to find the secret BFG that was mentioned earlier. Oh well, I've already got one a few shots left. That final timed room was a bastard. Must have had about 4 deaths before I got through it and limped on to work out that last gimmick.

I'll be honest, pistol-start on UV this is so far from being my kind of map that, along with Iron Exuviae (which I didn't even like continuously in NOVA) I genuinely think I'll either be skipping dobu's maps or possibly turning the difficulty down (although I don't feel like I should have to do that if I can beat all of the other maps in the megaWAD just fine) in the future. I like the visuals in all 5-6 maps of his I've played, but the gimmicky, over-clever design continues into the playing too and combines with slaughter setups to always turn me right off.


So, two (or five...) maps to go. Looks like a rare case of where I participate and see it through for a change! I know I can beat tomorrow's map from a pistol-start (with save-scumming), so continuous I should be alright... Obsidian's map wasn't working last time I tried it, so we'll have to see how that is to play all the way through.

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Map28 - “Cold Seep” by dobu gabu maru

When I first looked around at this map from the start, I thought I would just give up. I mean this is just relentless, and where to get a foothold on pistol?! I opted to let a Hellknight slash me by waking it with a touch, giving me access to the SSG. Then I used my first shot to kill the Demon blocking the passage near the Cyber, that way he wouldn't wake while in view of me. It was a desperate gamble and it paid off, soon I had a leg to stand on in the map.

I find I'm able to grab the Backpack, a truckload of Shells, and just nick the edge of the hitbox of the Megasphere without getting teleported, so I call fair game and grab all the goodies without being taken to the blue wonderland of oddness that kept getting me slashed to death by Barons. Instead, I opt to go down the lift heading outside. Ah, fresh air and room to maneuver. How sweet it is. But that's all ruined when I hit a switch a 4 Revenants come pouring out of a closet at me. I proceed along the path, getting a Rocketlauncher and killing an Archvile, then a couple Barons. I finally eventually get the Blue Skull!

I plow my way to the Exit, only to find I'm in for some tough as nails fight with two Cybers and a whole bunch of mid-tiers and Archviles involved. Finding I've somehow gotten a ton of Cells and a Plasmarifle, I eventually make work of every last enemy in the vicinity. However, I can't figure out what to do next. There's two switches, yes, but what do they do? I'm stuck here. I finally decide to crack open an editor and have a look. Okay so they're both effecting the column way out there? Finally my brain clicks and I think Icon of Sin type stuff. So I blast at it with the Rockets and finally the map is over.

At first I thought there was no way I could finish this map on UV pistol start, but somehow I did it. Maybe it was underhanded of me to sneak the Megasphere but thems the breaks.

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